case western reserve university




The research conducted in the CASE Department of Nutrition emphasizes Nutritional Biochemistry & Metabolism, Molecular Nutrition, and Applied Nutrition.   

This research has been conducted in association with several Cleveland hospitals and other departments within the School of Medicine. Particular areas of Applied Nutrition have been developed and performed in field settings - both the United States and abroad, in cooperation with multicenter national studies, and in our own department's various laboratories.   These state-of-the-art laboratories are located in the School of Medicine and the Veteran Affairs Medical Center.  Facilities in the Clinical Research Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center are also available to our department.

CASE Nutrition department has all general equipment necessary for conducting studies in nutritional biochemistry and molecular nutrition, including six Agilent Technologies GC-MS (gas chromatographers -mass spectrometers). They are used for human and animal investigation with stable isotopes. Facilities for isolated organ perfusions and a comprehensive organic chemistry laboratory for synthesis of new nutrients are also available. The department has been equipped for body composition measures and diet preparation.

Consult the Nutrition Faculty Directory for specific research projects. To read about each faculty's research focus at a glance, please read on, below.


Hope Barkoukis, PhD, RD, LD
Assistant Professor

Sports nutrition, the influence of diet on insulin resistance and the interrelationship of diet and liver cirrhosis.

Henri Brunengraber, MD, PhD
Professor and Chair

Regulation of carbohydrate and fat metabolism investigated with stable isotopes via Mass Spectrometry-Gas Chromatography.

Paul Ernsberger, PhD
Associate Professor

Nutrition and cardiovascular diseases; nutrient-drug interactions; metabolic pharmacology; genetic obesity; lipids in cell signaling.

Maria Hatzoglou , PhD

Molecular mechanisms regulation of gene expression during stress.

Tahir Kasumov, PhD
Assistant Professor

Design and synthesis of labeled precursors and intermediates for studies/artificial nutrients.  Investigation of anaplerosis from propionyl-CoA precursors.

Mary Beth Kavanagh, MS, RD, LD

Sports nutrition; eating disorders; weight management and nutrition for cardiovascular health.

Janos Kerner , PhD
Assistant Professor

Mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and the regulation of pathway by malonyl-CoA.

Edith Lerner, PhD, LD
Associate Professor & Vice-Chair

Assessment of nutritional status and trace mineral metabolism during pregnancy.  The neonatal patient.

Duna Massillon, PhD
Assistant Professor

Nutrient regulation of gene expression.

Laura Nagy, PhD

Effects of environmental factors such as diet and drugs on cellular signal transduction mechanism.

Isabel Parraga, PhD, RD, LD
Associate Professor

Nutritional anthropology; maternal and child nutrition; public health nutrition; child growth and schistosomiasis.

Stevens Previs, PhD
Assistant Professor

Application of stable isotopes for measuring carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism.

Alison Steiber, PhD, MS, RD
Assistant Professor
Coordinator for the Dietetic Internship/Master's Degree Program.

James Swain, PhD
Assistant Professor

Interplay between mineral nutrition and the etiology and severity of chronic disease, especially related to iron status.

Kou-Yi Tserng, PhD
Associate Professor

Fatty acid metabolism; beta-oxidation; unsaturated fatty acids; stable isotope tracers.

Jonathan Whittaker, MD
Associate Professor

Molecular basis of insulin binding and receptor activation.